July 16, 2021
An intense heat wave affecting the Northwest caused a spike in emergency department (ED) visits for heat-related illness, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Oregon and Washington were most affected by the record-breaking heat, the CDC wrote, with temperatures in Portland climbing to 116 degrees Fahrenheit, over 40 degrees hotter than average monthly highs. While the country sees some 700 deaths due to heat illness each year, the agency warned that climate change will spur increases in fatalities in the years to come in the northwestern U.S.
The report cited data from the National Syndromic Surveillance Program from May 1-June 30 in 2019 and 2021 on ED visits for heat-related illness in the northwestern U.S, including Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.